Fresh Bread From the Bread Guy

Fresh Bread From the Bread Guy
Find us at our new location on Madero at Constitucion, one block north of the Parque VelascoOpen daily 8-230 except Sunday

Friday, April 30, 2010

Americano’s cheesesteak grill-oh, and pastry shop, too

Americano’s cheesesteak grill-oh, and pastry shop, too

Just off of el centro on Bravo between Revolucion and Madero you will find John’s Americano’s Grill. I’ve long debated whether the name referred to the man running the place, or if it meant that here be eponymous land of freedom food, or exactly what. Given the logo, with the proud head of lady liberty surrounded by a cheesesteak sandwich and glittering aerial bombs bursting in the air, one might be tempted to think the food was Authentic American.
Checking the menu, the cheesesteak grill is a parody of Americana. Sure there are kraut dogs, and cheesesteak sandwiches, and malted milkshakes, and pies, too but it all has a decidedly local flavor about it, from the beans side dish to the rolls holding the meat for the sandwiches to the variations on the pseudo namesake sandwich itself.
The look of the place is decidedly bowery chic. The walls are yellow with green sponge paint or is it the other way around, ubiquitous plastic tables and chairs covered in unhemmed oilcloth, a rattling air conditioner over the door and the smell of fried foods that hover over the dining area. Termite-softened wood molding at the entrance greets each customer and occasionally on my morning neighborhood walks (the restaurant is a block away from my bakery) a homeless person obligingly lends character and charm by sleeping in the doorway alcove. He is usually gone by the time the restaurant opens at 10 a.m. Closing hours are three p.m. unless prior arrangements are made. And on Saturday, there is an all you can eat buffet for 75 pesos. “It's based on what we have left from the week's activities so we can clear out and start fresh on Tuesday.” Now that’s truly the American entrepreneurial spirit! Seriously, though. Check the place out. It’s a real contender.
Americano’s cheesesteak grill and pastry shop. Wi-Fi/Delivery. Bravo 150. Ten to three Tuesday through Saturday.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Little Buffalo

What if the owner of Buffalo’s had a little brother? What if the little brother wanted his own place? And what would you call it?
Buffalito grill is on Madero between Ocampo and Nicholas Bravo. Its where meat meets fire. Ostensibly a carnivores’delight, vegetarians successfully navigate the menu with juicy portabello mushroom burgers and guacamole tacos.
One of the litmus tests I and my circle of friends apply is the french fry onion ring challenge. Will the fries be crispy with just enough salt? Will the onion rings be homemade, crispy and ample? A bright ketchup red yes to those questions. Is the burger meat juicy and natural or has it been worked to dry toughness and preseasoned with gallons of salsa Inglesa tipoWorcestershire? Succulent and tender!
The dining area is open air patio and painted concrete floor. Tables and chairs are not the plastic resin found everywhere else, but do carry the Tecate trademark. Speaking of Tecate beers, they have Bohemia and Indio beer for those fans of beer with character and substance. Wine, too by the glass. Music appropriate for dining plays sometimes a bit intrusively but a quick word to the attentive servers brings the ambience back to quiet enjoyment of good food well prepared.
How does little brother do it? Create a place worthy of a second meal? First, have a family that operates a successful restaurant then take all the good bits and leave off the bad. Buffalito grill, open 1 pm until closing, except Monday when the grill’s not hot until 5pm.

It's been a whole year and what a time!

It has been more than a year since my last post. Incredible watching this big little city twist and bend to adapt to what has been a world-shaking year. Financial crisis! Swine Flu! Drug cartels!

For a time, restaurants and businesses held on. Some rents went unpaid, a few people went unpaid, suppliers went without. But this is Mexico and just because the phone and electricity are cut off, that does not mean instant closing. Harsh reality finally squeezed the last breath out of at least three hotels and countless eateries. Of the places I highlighted last March, Dalle Regazzi is in the process of closing. Caballete and Uva lasted a month. Fussion went a few months and folded. Captain Tony's closed and reopened as a pizza place just off the malecon. I think Placeres Argentina is kaput. Estancia Uruguay and Tres Virgenes have survived.

A rash of new places came in as quickly as others left. La Tosca blipped in and out. The Original Baja Kettle Corn is gone and will reopen as Paco's Palomitas in the near future. El Trocadero and Bistro Gastronomico are gaining ground in a declining market. Kudos to them! I feel I'm rambling a bit so this post is closed. I'll try to post regularly this summer, time permitting. Thanks for reading me.

Les, the bread guy

About Me

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La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Before gaining control of my life, I created pastries for some cool places in California: San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, Brix Restaurant in Napa and The Lodge in Sonoma. Now I am the chef/owner of Pan D' Les bakery in La Paz. My personal favorite is the Multigrano loaf, full of crunchy seeds and a nice chewy crust.